The BlueS_Med was officially launched in January 2021, and is joining together 10 partners from four Mediterranean countries: France, Italy, Greece and Malta!
14 schools will also embark on this journey to develop marine educational activities, also referred to as “Blue Challenges”. These schools cover various age groups, from elementary, to middle and secondary levels.
HELLENIC CENTRE FOR MARINE RESEARCH (HCMR)
The Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) is a governmental research organization operating under the supervision of the General Secretariat for Research and Innovation of the Ministry of Development. HCMR includes three research Institutes: 1) Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology and Aquaculture (IMBBC), 2) Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters (IMBRIW), 3) Institute of Oceanography (IO). It aims to carry out scientific and technological research, experimental development, dissemination and implementation of results, in the fields of study and protection of the hydrosphere, its organisms, its interface with the atmosphere, the coast and the sea bottom, the physical, chemical, biological and geological conditions that prevail and regulate the above mentioned systems with the: a) supply of products and services; b) support of decision-making concerning the general public; c) economy and culture, their economical exploitation either by HCMR and/or by its employees or by third parties.
More specifically, the missions of HCMR are to: conserve the health of the hydrosphere so that aquatic ecosystems continue providing their services to future generations; promote sustainable exploitation of marine biological and other resources, including marine energy in the framework of blue growth; promote sustainable aquaculture; sensitize the public at large on issues related to the hydrosphere and its conservation and provide advice to national, Mediterranean and EU institutional bodies on environmental sustainability and management. These missions are accomplished through: field, laboratory and experimental multidisciplinary, basic and applied, research in different scientific fields related to the physics, chemistry, geology, biology, aquaculture and fisheries of aquatic ecosystems, in the hydrosphere-atmosphere interface, the coastal zone, the water column and sea bottom; maintaining public aquaria and disseminating information and knowledge on major achievements through a variety of organized events; undertaking specific pilot studies and designing management plans on specific issues and the exploitation of products deriving from living and non-living resources either by HCMR or by contracts with third parties and the supplying of various maritime and marine services. HCMR also acts as an adviser to the government on oil pollution from maritime activities and accidents, on issues shaping fisheries policy, management of water resources, and marine strategy implementation.
We participate in: a) the European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA) and its activities, especially in the Mediterranean Sea (e.g. adapting OL principles and concepts to the specificities of the Mediterranean Sea; design and development of questionnaires for primary and secondary schools in order to assess students’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviour relevant to OL; participation in international events such as World Ocean Day, European Maritime Day, European Researcher’s Night); b) the Ocean Literacy Expert Group of the European Global Ocean Observing System (EuroGOOS) and its initiatives (e.g. policy documents; a “home-schooling” campaign by providing resource data (e.g. videos, games) for children and their parents in order to spend time at home due to the confinement enforced by COVID-19); c) the EU4Ocean Coalition and Platform, its Working Groups and other relevant activities (e.g. WGs of healthy and clean ocean, climate and ocean, food from the ocean; the first EU4Ocean workshop– Designing Ocean Literacy action in Europe on 24 – 25 September 2020 organised by the EU4Ocean Coalition, on behalf of the European Commission); d) relevant international conferences; e) citizen science projects; environmental education projects; f) articles and special editions for promoting OL activities; g) educational programs within the framework of OL and environmental education and education for sustainable development for students of elementary and high schools (e.g. interviews, field studies, visit to the labs, attendance of special programs related to ESD, contests etc.).
Democritus University of Thrace
Democritus University of Thrace, located in the north-eastern part of Greece, was founded in 1973 and named after the ancient Greek atomic philosopher who was born in the region. The Department of Primary Education with more than 30 years of history, aims at a high-level training of both pre-service and in-service elementary school teachers. The Laboratory of Environmental Research and Education, as one of several laboratories of the Department, was established in 1990 and accommodates the educational needs of Chemistry, Biology and Ecology, and Environmental Education / Education for Sustainability. The Laboratory conducts research on the fields of (a) Marine Biology and Ecology, focusing on marine macrozoobenthos and macrophytes of estuarine and coastal environments, and (b) Environmental Education, focusing on Ocean Literacy. It has developed a wide educational and research activity with national and international collaborations, including a large number of scientific publications.
Our laboratory has significant experience in the field of “marine and aquatic education” since we have been working on relevant issues from the late 90s, long before the official launching of the term “Ocean Literacy”. We have been members of the European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA) from the very first beginning of its appearance in 2012; we have also been part of a core group in the Mediterranean basin since 2015, working on several cross-cultural projects, such as the adaptation of the OL principles and concepts to the specificities of the Mediterranean Sea, resulting in the Mediterranean Sea Literacy guide, and the development of surveys targeted to all educational levels (from primary to tertiary) to portray students’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour relevant to Ocean Literacy. We have also been part of a joint effort to translate both frameworks (the Ocean Literacy and the Mediterranean Sea Literacy) into the Greek language, aiming to communicate those to the teaching community. Finally, we participate in the EU4Ocean Coalition activities, and our research work is being published in scientific journals, national and international conferences.
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
The National Research Council (CNR) is a public research body whose mission is to carry out, promote, spread, transfer and improve research activities in the main sectors of knowledge growth and of its applications for the scientific, technological, economic and social development of the Country (Italy). The Scientific network of CNR is organized in 7 Departments and 102 Research Institutes for a total of 8400 paid staff members and around 4000 post-docs. The Departments are organizational units structured in macro-areas of scientific and technological research. They mainly have planning, organization and supervision functions. The institutes, gathered in several technical and scientific sectors, perform research tasks according to their programs. The geographical distribution on the territory allows them to give a relevant contribution to the regional and local innovation, as well as to be closer to the society, including schools. In some cities the institutes are aggregated within research areas. The latter are structures offering support and services, and representing for the territory a scientific and cultural attraction pole.
The CNR-ISMAR is part of the Department of Earth System Sciences and Environmental Technologies (DSSTTA) whose program develops in harmony with the international framework. The DSSTTA research activity follows the guidelines of international institutions such as ICSU, UNEP and ESF, as well as the demand expressed mainly by the calls of the EC Framework Programs, by the Joint Programming Initiatives (JPI), by Ministries and Regions, local authorities and companies in the sector that in various capacities request and finance research. Particular attention is paid to the infrastructures planned in the ESFRI area, in particular the observation networks of the various environmental sectors, also in order to achieve the objectives set in the GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) and GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems). The strategic approach of the DSSTTA is based on the cross-cutting fields of investigation in order to identify and better understand the interactions between different phenomena and systems, and among them the understanding of the functioning of the Earth and Ocean Systems in order to provide effective answers to the research question on the most current issues for social well-being and for the growth of the production system.
Within the DSSTTA there are 3 institutes fully dedicated to marine research (i.e. ISMAR, IRBIM and IAS) and others in which marine issues are also addressed (e.g. ISP, ISAC, IRSA) and/or which concern the study of the Mediterranean area (e.g. IGAG, IGG, IRPI, IMAA). The Mediterranean Sea is also the research focus of other CNR departments devoted to socio-economic study (e.g. ISE, ISMed, INM).
- CNR-ISMAR, in particular, is a research institute actively involved in marine research and technological development in the field of marine geology, geophysics, biogeochemistry, natural hazard and anthropic impact assessment in coastal and marine environment.
- CNR-ISMAR also developed a long experience in scientific dissemination, environmental education, teachers training, awareness activities and campaign on marine issues for a more Ocean Literate society, by participating in several national and international projects, such as: European Researchers Nights (ERNs): SOCIETY , SHARPER, and MEETMETONIGHT; Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTER); The Research Language ; ENVRIplus Scientific game 2018 ; Walking on the Sea Traces
European Research Institute (ERI)
The European Research Institute (ERI) is a non-profit organization – officially recognized by Italian Govern as a research institute – that works to promote research and experimentation for innovation in scientific and social fields. Its main objective is to improve the economic and cultural conditions of European and World citizens and promote the respect for the environment, the territory and the living being.
The association is a laboratory of ideas able to adopt and promote the most innovative proposals in the social, educational, cultural and occupational fields, with the support of the European Union and the local players.
ERI also aims to boost competitiveness, research and sustainable development of production systems, especially those related to environment, energy and information technology and communication. The association is constantly looking for new tools for risk management, recovery and protection of biodiversity, natural heritage, urban, peri-urban and rural spaces.
ERI is committed to promote cohesion and social equity, respect for the fundamental rights and cultural diversity, in order to create equal opportunities and fight discrimination.
The association is currently collaborating with public institutions, startups and local businesses, availing itself of the support of more than ten contributors, which provide their specialized skills, like design, communication, administrative management and logistics.
European Research Institute is courrently committed in environmental projects in Europe and Africa, with focus on plastic pollution (Arctic sea, Mediterranean sea, rivers and snow on the Alps), climate change adaptation and sustainable development according with 2030 SDG’s.
Starting by 2017, E.R.I. members are committed on several projects (SPlasH!, Plastic Sea, Future is written in the sea…) with Ocean Literacy activities dedicate to schools (6-18 y.o., +15000 students involved), stakeholders (hiking guide, public administrations) and general public (with public events and video/photo exhibitions). Franco Borgogno is president of Ocean Literacy Italia.
Associazione Nazionale Insegnanti Scienze Naturali (ANISN)
ANISN (National Association of Natural Sciences Teachers) is a non-profit association with legal personality qualified for teacher training and accredited to enhance excellence at school.
Being an association recognized by the Italian Ministry of Education ANISN organizes training courses for school teachers at any level paying a particular attention to the new approaches in the different disciplinary fields (from life sciences to earth sciences), taking care of disciplinary, epistemological and methodological aspects.
As an accredited institution for the enhancement of excellence, ANISN organizes the Natural Sciences Olympics, which since 2000 has involved several hundred teachers and many thousands of young students in a competition that is gaining more participation and enthusiasm. Since 2008 the first four national Olympic winners have participated in the IBO (International Biology Olympics) and since 2009 also at the IESO (International Earth Sciences Olympics). Since 2011, the Games of Experimental Sciences first degree secondary school students have been added to the Olympics Natural Sciences.
ANISN is also involved, as an active partner, in various national, European and international projects: SUSTAIN (2013-2016), LINKS (2016 -2019) and AMGEN Teach (2014-2018), ABE (Amgen Biotech Experience) , and, financed by MIUR Law 113/91 DD 1524 / 08-07-2015 T4, “SCHOOL FOR INQUIRY” (2017-2019).
ANISN has collaborated and collaborates with several research institutions for the education in marine sciences. Such as: the Stazione zoologica Anton Dohrn in Naples in the framework of the National Project School for Inquiry; the Association Ocean literacy Italia; the UNESCO Office in Venice which hosts a unit of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission – IOC of UNESCO, specifically for the International initiative called Ocean Literacy for All, which brings together associations of educators and researchers to promote education and awareness on marine conservation issues. ANISN has also developed training resources on marine sciences as European Space Education Resource Office Italia and as Network of ANISN IBSE ( Inquiry Based Science Education) Centres.
Institut de la Mer de Villefranche, Sorbonne Université (IMEV)
Since more than a decade, the science outreach team of the Institut de la Mer de Villefranche works in order to enhance an understanding of ocean sciences and to foster ocean literacy. Dissemination and science-based outreach indeed is one of its missions and a dedicated pole federates the actions of the two labs: Culture Océan (culture-ocean.com).
Its expertise includes many different ways to communicate and reach out with/to diverse publics at national and international levels. The team is experienced in communication tools such as newspaper and web articles, social media, talks and formats like science cafés and other events. In addition, it develops and proposes outreach tools and activities ranging from hand-on experiences and educational units to learning paths in school environments.
The Culture Océan team is pleased to participate in this project, to interact and learn from/with the other partners and to contribute to the so important movement of enhancing Ocean Literacy.
UNIVERSITY OF MALTA
- 5 landmark underwater documentaries on local MPA’s (Comino, Filfla, Rdum Majjiesa, Dwejra and Mgarr ix-Xini) were produced. These have been shown to thousands of local students and members of the public in the presence of EU Commissioner on Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Maria Damanaki in Valletta in May 2013 in commemoration of European Maritime Day and also, in a separate occasion, in the presence of the Hon. President of Malta Dr. George Abela.
- A series of animation clips, uploaded on social media (YouTube) on the following thematics: Invasive Alien Species ;Jellyfish ; Extraction of BAMs from marine organisms ; Mission Starfish .
- A series of targeted manuals on specific species and habitats within Mediterranean MPAs was produced through the PANACEA project
- The first ever marine environmental education centre for the Maltese Islands was opened in Dwejra, Gozo, in March 2013
- within the MED-JELLYRISK project, a large number of educational tools for schoolchildren on jellyfish were developed, including the MED-JELLY smart phone app, jellyfish postcards, a jellyfish identification booklet, a jellyfish factsheet and a jellyfish sting treatment booklet
- Prof. Alan Deidun is also the main coordinator of the local citizen science Spot the Jellyfish campaign, which is part of the IOI Kids online marine educational portal – www.ioikids.net – which is an online resource for both teachers and students alike about marine-related issues. The Spot the Jellyfish campaign has been running since June 2010 and within it, a number of talks within local schools and the Malta National Aquarium are held each year.
- Since December 2016, a second citizen science campaign was launched by the same Department – the Spot the Alien Fish campaign and on social media (https://www.facebook.com/aliensmalta/ )
- The Department of Geosciences participated in the closing event of the PERSEUS project as part of the PERSEUS@School campaign, involving students from 5 different countries which were trained to speak on specific marine issues at the European Parliament
- The same Department coordinates the organisation each year of the annual Ocean Literacy Day held in conjunction with World Oceans Day on the 8th of June, involving the participation of a number of other entities including the Sharklab NGO, the Malta National Aquarium and the International Ocean Institute (IOI), with HE The President of Malta in attendance and involving the presentation of projects on any marine issue produced from recycled litter by students
- Organisation, in collaboration with the EU Commission, of an international Ocean Literacy seminar within the annual IOI Malta Training Course on Ocean Governance
- The Department of Geosciences is also organising the EMSEA Malta Conference between the 7th and the 10th of October, with the first day being dedicated to a teachers’ seminar and a session of the Eco-school Youth Parliament also being included within the Conference programme .
OFB (the French Biodiversity Agency)
The French Biodiversity Agency (OFB) aims to protect and restore biodiversity in Metropolitan France and its Overseas Territories. It is a public institution under the authority of the ministries responsible for Ecology and Agriculture & Food. It has 5 complementary roles:
Sharing knowledge, research and expertise about species, habitats and their uses
Environmental and wildlife health policing
Supporting the implementation of public policies
Assisting and supporting protected natural area managers
Supporting stakeholders and mobilising civil society
Regarding mobilising civil society and promoting commitment, the role of the French Biodiversity Agency (OFB) is to mobilise the entire society in favour of biodiversity. To do this, OFB encourages and assists companies, local authorities, non-governmental organisations, schools and users of nature to get involved at their level.
The OFB has been involved for many years in ocean literacy issues, both locally in the various marine protected areas under its management and nationally with the label of the Educational Managed Marine Area. An “Educational Managed Marine Area” is a small coastal area a few km2 wide, managed in a participatory way by primary school pupils, in accordance with principles defined in a charter. It is an educational and eco-friendly project to help young people better understand and protect the marine environment.
The children become part of a local project that draws on the expertise of the school and local municipality, along with user associations and environmental protection groups.
The concept was born in the Marquesas Islands in 2012 after pupils from a school in Vaitahu spoke of their desire to look after a marine area near their school. For the school year 2021-2022 we have over 250 projects.
ACTeon is a French consulting and research company specialised in environmental strategies and policies. The main objective of the team is to foster emerging solutions and innovations aiming at ensuring an effective integration of environmental dimensions in decisions and behaviors.
ACTeon advises a wide range of stakeholders (public institutions, companies, associations, NGOs…).
In order to provide adapted answers to specific contexts and stakeholders, the team mobilizes skills in environmental sciences, economics, sociology, political sciences, environmental law and spatial planning.
The team of around twenty consultants is based in the Rhine area with the main office in Colmar, as well as in the alpine arc with an office in Grenoble and one in Northern Italy in Torino. ACTeon works in France, in Europe as well as in the Mediterranean area and the Caucasus.
Marine issues are the heart of ACTeon’s activities, where ACTeon is strongly involved in projects related to coastal zone and marine resource management: support to DG Environment in its work on Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Maritime Spatial Planning, support for the implementation of the MSFD in France and in the OSPAR region, especially regarding socio-economic issues (socio-economic characterisation of maritime & Blue Growth sectors); the assessment and valuation of the ecosystem services provided by marine ecosystems, as well as International Ocean Governance. ACTeon is involved in many marine related research project, in particular in France and Mediterranean region..
Ocean literacy is a special focus of ACTeon since 2015, when it coordinated a H2020 funded project on ocean literacy ResponSEAble . Under this project ACTeon coordinated the work of 15 partners across Europe, across all sea-basins, led the outreach and communication activities of the project, and contributed to development and dissemination of over 40 ocean literacy tools including 6 documentary films and cartoons, courses for fishermen, serious game, interactive platform on ferries, workshops for children; among many others… :
- Over 90 videos (films, animations, interviews..)
- Organized and carried out 6 webinars about doing ocean literacy with different target groups, regional workshops (in 5 sea basins),
- Organization of the final event – Ocean Dialogues.
- Manifesto, presented at the European Parliament (20.03.2019) at the policy workshop:
- Web Documentary: interactive guidance for ocean literacy practitioners,
Since 2019 ACTeon coordinates the consortium of 8 partners to support EU4Ocean Coalition – an initiative launched by DGMARE: www.eu-oceanliteracy.eu
This bottom driven inclusive initiative focuses on the mobilizing the work of 3 communities: platform members (experts, professionals), Youth4ocean and Network of EU Blue Schools. ACTeon’s specific focus and experience is in the Mediterranean, where it organized a ‘Let’s Make Med Blue!’ event in September 2021, contributing to the development of Mediterranean Ocean Literacy network, contributing to regional initiatives and governance and supporting development of joint initiatives on ocean literacy in thematic groups and different communities.